Only a spectacular finish by a trio of Issaquah golfers kept Sequim’s boys from claiming the school’s first boys team championship.
And elsewhere in the Tri-Cities, Sequim’s Sarah Shea was posting her best state finish ever.
Sequim’s Blake Wiker, Paul Jacobsen and Andrew Vanderberg all made the second-day cut and scored top-25 finishes as the Wolves took second place overall at the class 2A state boys golf championships at Columbia Point Golf Course in Richland — the best finish for the program in school history.
“I thought we positioned ourselves really well after day one,” Sequim coach Bill Shea said, after seeing Wiker and Jacobsen play into a tie for seventh place following the first day.
Wiker, who along with Jacobsen was tied for seventh after the first day, tied for 10th overall. The junior shot a 74 the first day and 76 on day two for a 150 overall score — 11 shots back of state champ Chase McIntosh of Liberty.
Jacobsen, this year’s Olympic League MVP, wound up tied for 13th with a 151, shooting a 77 on day two.
Vanderberg shot a two-day total of 158 (78-80) to tie for 25th place.
Sequim teammate Josiah Carter missed the cut with a first-day total of 91, placing 70th overall. Shea said Carter struggled on one hole but past that was on pace to make the cut.
The effort gave Sequim’s boys 72 team points, though the Wolves looked to have a slight edge over Liberty of Issaquah after day one.
“I thought it was going to kind of a horse race (between Sequim and Liberty),” he said. “(On day two) we kind of played pretty close to where we were the day before.”
“Paul and Blake did their part (while) Andrew struggled on one or two holes,” Shea said. “He had an unfortunate ruling — a triple bogey — and that was tough start to bounce back from.”
Liberty’s McIntosh won the tourney by four shots with rounds of 69 and 70, and the Issaquah school got significant second-day improvements from their No. 2 and 3 golfers; Jack Hultquist tied for third with a total of 145 (77-68) while Cole Sherman improved by five shots in the second day (81-76) to tie for 22nd.
Liberty scored 107 team points, with Sequim second and Archbishop Murphy (52) in third.
Shea takes fifth
In the girls’ tournament held at Horn Rapids Golf Course in Richland, Sarah Shea tied for fifth with a two-day total of 163. She was tied for seventh after the first day, shooting an 83 before improving on day two by three shots.
Shea, the Olympic League MVP this spring, had her previous state best in 2016 when she tied for 15th. Shea was 22nd at last year’s state final.
“It was one of the funnest experiences of my golfing career,” Sequim girls coach Garrett Smithson said.
The Sequim coach said Shea was able to transition from Western Washington-style courses to the Eastern side’s style of play because of her consistency in hitting fairways and greens.
“In the 36 holes she played, maybe missed four fairways; she’s extremely consistent,” he said.
Sequim teammates Samantha Smith (tied for 44th, 101) and Madison Uranga (tied for 54th, 105) missed the cut for day two’s round of play.
Smith had a strong practice round on May 21 but wasn’t able to continue that the next day, Smithson said.
“A lot of it was just nerves,” Smithson said of Smith’s first day.
SHS’s strong future
Sequim’s runner-up finish at the 2A golf finals ties the Sequim basketball squad of 1987-88 and cross country team of 2014 for the best team finish by a boys team. Sequim High has two team titles: girls tennis (2007) and fastpitch (2011).
“I was super proud of the kids — they played super hard in extreme heat over there,” Bill Shea said.
“Trying to manage east side golf is really different; the ball goes further. (But) I thought they did great. It speaks volumes about how good they are and how dedicated they are. (And) it’s a tribute to the feeder programs we have on the peninsula.”
Shea said that the state experience has motivated his players to understand how good they are and along with the potential of what they can do next year and the year after.
While the Wolves lose Carter, Sequim returns their top three golfers plus district qualifier Liam Payne, a number of other players who saw varsity time and add highly-touted freshmen Ben Sweet and Dominic Riccobene.
“We’re a relatively young team; that bodes well for us next year,” Shea said.